SlimDoggy Hide and Seek: Improving Canine Fitness and Memory Function

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running to cones

SlimDoggy is proud to be a Kamp Kounselor for K9Kamp, the fun way to get active with your dog. This Kamp Khallenge was Doggy Hide and Seek. SlimDoggy Steve, Jack & Maggie wanted to crank up the intensity a bit to burn a few more calories so they used a variation of a cone/agility drill that Steve does in his bootcamp workouts.  It turns out that recent research suggests that this type of training can provide more than just physical fitness.

 

Recent research on benefits of agility exercises

A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research sought to compare the influence of agility training on physiological and cognitive performance versus standard training protocols.  You can read the abstract here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23442271

 

The study used 41 subjects in military training programs over a 6 week period.  The authors divided the subjects randomly into two groups, one that continued the standard training (calisthenics and running) and the second group added agility work (cone drills).

 

The results were stunning.  Not only did the agility group see a bigger increase in physical fitness, but they also saw improvements in visual vigilance as well as memory function compared to the standard training group.   While the study used human participants, it’s logical that the same benefits can apply to your dog as well.

 

SlimDoggy cone drill for agility

cone with treat

The starting line

The SlimDoggy cone drill is a version of a bootcamp drill that is used to increase speed and agility in humans.  It forces the body to move in different directions and has a ‘start and stop’ component that increases the difficulty of the drill.

 

Place a set of cones (or other markers) in a zig-zag pattern on a field or gym floor.  Space the cones at least 5 yards apart, further apart if you want to increase the duration of the drill. We recommend using a minimum of 8 cones.  Place a treat under or on top of each cone so your dog can have something to find during the drill.

 

Once the cones are set, move back to the start position and then sprint from cone to cone, briefly stopping at each cone to set your feet and prepare to move laterally to the next cone in the sequence.  Of course, your dog will (hopefully) stop and grab the treat at each stop. Jog back to the start line, re-setting the treats on each cone in preparation for the next set.  Perform 6-10 sets total,

conedrillefinish

Maggie races Jack to the cone

Cone drill variations

Change the cone pattern to keep in interesting and to emphasize different skills.  Besides the zig-zag, we use star (cones set up like a star, with 5 points), box (four corners), “t”, and other random cone patterns to emphasize lateral shuffling or backward sprinting.

 

Indoor variations

If you are confined to the indoors, the distance between cones will likely need to be smaller.  That’s perfectly fine!  Use a box or star pattern and just make sure to run to each cone as fast as you can.  Use greater intensity to make up for the shorter distance.

 

Maggie gets the treat

Maggie gets the treat

prize packageSlimDoggy Jack and Maggie love the cone drill. It helps them stay physically and mentally fit and they get a few treats while they are at it. This wraps up our SlimDoggy versions of Hide & Seek – we offered a few different ideas each week of Kamp that you can see here. We hope that all of you Kampers had lots of fun. There is still time to sign up through the Rafflecopter to win our great prize package.
 

You can enter the drawing by entering the Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

   

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Please enjoy our FitDog Friday Blog Hop brought to you by SlimDoggy and our co-hosts Peggy’s Pet Place and To Dog With Love. Join the Hop or just enjoy the links below – lots of fun fitness tips and advice!
 

 

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23 Comments

  1. We used to do a lot of cone nose work games until Huxley started knocking over cones in Rally and obedience classes… Dogs are good at differentiating which sport they are doing when trained properly but that one was too hard for me not to laugh at hysterically so I wasn’t very good at training away the problem. We just don’t use cones for nose work anymore. 🙂
    Bethany recently posted…Of Course Your Dog Can Find Food, But Can Your Dog Find YOU?My Profile

  2. Cones would be an interesting idea. Today, however, we are going to play find a place to walk as we got a ton of snow and with the wind it has all drifted. Walking will be a great cardio workout today for sure trying to get through all the snow! Thanks for a great K9 Kamp, hide and seek was an awesome idea!
    emma recently posted…K9 Kamp Hide And Seek | GBGVMy Profile

  3. That is a great idea for a work out. I think anyone could do that with space and you wouldn’t even need to use cones. Of course grass would help. 😉
    2 brown dawgs recently posted…Hide And Seek Brown Dawg StyleMy Profile

  4. Interesting study. I can see how agility helps cognitive performance, and physiological as well. Even in dog agility, the human benefits from learning and remembering different course layouts and maintaining focus throughout the entire run. I would say that a 60-second agility run is LOTS more exhausting than a 60-second sprint! Love the cone drill too. We also practice agility patterns using cones.
    Your pals,
    Diane and Rocco
    Diane recently posted…FItDog Friday meets K9 Kamp: Gather ‘Round the Kampfire!My Profile

  5. My yard would be perfect for this!
    Thanks to sharing more great tips on how to keep fit slim!
    I love the techniques and drill and tips you share!
    Have a great day!
    ((Husky hugz)l
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Day off?My Profile

  6. I like this idea a lot, of course the food hound will be everyone and poor Sampson will get nothing. I may have to try this with individual dogs. 🙂
    Jodi recently posted…Follow-Up Friday – February 21, 2014My Profile

  7. What a great K9 Kamp drill. Looks like they had a blast. Now did you do each dog individually at all or both at the same time so they had to make the most of it and see who could get there the fastest and did you have a treat in your pocket to give the other dog who lost out?
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…FitDog Friday/K9 Kamp KampFireMy Profile

  8. This sounds like fun and a great workout. The variety of patterns you can set them up in can really keep it interesting. Our nice big yard would work perfectly for it (when the snow is gone). Where do you get those cones?
    Jan K recently posted…K9 Kamp – Doggy Hide & SeekMy Profile

  9. Very cute idea! 🙂 I do worry about giving dogs treats when they are working out, I’m scared of Nailah throwing up or bloating because of it. I guess the treats are tiny so chances are minimal… any thoughts on this?
    Nailah Bone recently posted…FitDog Friday – K9 Camp Challenge Part IIMy Profile

  10. Hi Y’all!

    What a fun drill!

    Y’all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog
    Hawk aka BrownDog recently posted…Lots of Fun Ways to Play!My Profile

  11. The Lady had decided that I am a reincarnated Walter Payton because of the way I can change direction so fast i.e. not get caught. Love Dolly
    Dolly the Doxie recently posted…FitDog Friday: K9 Kamp ExcusesMy Profile

  12. Cool idea! We’ve got cones jammed up in the corner of the garage doing absolutely nothing. When we finally get to sees grass, we’ll take them out and give this a try. Thanks Slim
    Cathy recently posted…WALKING THE DOGMy Profile

  13. I don’t get it. Can you do a video showing how it works? Thanks!

    When we’re stuck inside, we play hide and seek with treats. I close myself off in the living/dining room area and hid the treats. The dogs watch through a pocket door. I wait a few minutes before I let them in and then they can search for the small treats

    They love it and it gets them to figure things out. We do it three times and don’t use many treats – just a few broken into pieces.

    Now that we have dogs of two ages, we would do two runs, one with adults and one with puppies.

    I’d like to do the cone exercise when the weather warms up – we actually have traffic cones 🙂
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted…An Easier Way to Clean Your Dog’s Ears #NaturalPawsMy Profile

    • Sure – stay tuned, if it doesn’t rain this week, we’ll get one done and post it.
      mkob recently posted…Mischief MemoriesMy Profile

  14. Cone drills! They have cones lined up at the school nearby me but I still have a hard time learning the ropes.
    Ruckus the Eskie recently posted…Sepia Saturday #9: Biscuits for SapiensMy Profile

  15. I think Scooter might try & eat the cones but we might give it a go with some ol’ flower pots we’ve got. great suggestions for hide & seek games

  16. Great great idea for my husky’s workout. I do take him out for a walk or so but i was always looking for a proper workout routine. Thank a lot for the help.. Really appreciate it. 😀

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